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Posts Tagged ‘Things to do in Kennebunkport’

The Kennebunkport Festival 2013 is Coming!

May 29th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Now that the Memorial Day festivities have passed, we are gearing up for The Kennebunkport Festival 2013.  Each year in early June, food and wine enthusiasts from all around the country flock to Kennebunkport for this new celebration of fine food, wine, and art.  In a spectacular setting, of course!  This festival kicks off summer with delectable events sure to appeal to your palate, ranging from intimate dinners in some of the most spectacular private homes in the area to a boisterous bash featuring locally brewed beers and hot new artists

Limo picking up guests for the Garden Party during last year's Kennebunkport Festival

Limo picking up guests for the Garden Party during last year’s Kennebunkport Festival

to the Maine music scene.  The dining scene in Kennebunkport, as with much of coastal Maine, is red hot, with tons of new restaurants opening under the guidance of top notch chefs, and during the Kennebunkport Festival, the best of the best from other areas of the state are visiting town.  But even if you don’t choose to partake in the exclusive private dinners catered by some of the biggest names in food, you can still take advantage of special festival dinners with prix fixe meals at our favorite restaurants in town.  That means that you can get a “taste” of an elite food and wine festival without committing to any of the bigger ticket events.

But whether you choose to partake in any of the organized events or not, guests choosing to stay at the Maine Stay Inn will enjoy our second annual Garden Party with all of the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport.  That means that visitors will enjoy tasty treats and beverages at each of the inns, but those choosing to imbibe at the selected inns (it’s complimentary, of course!) will also enjoy a chauffeured ride from inn to inn.  Safety first!  Last year’s inaugural Garden Party was such a hit, that we’re eagerly awaiting this year’s fun.  Plus, with a variety of whoopie pies on the menu, we’re going to make sure to bring our appetites.  But even if you choose to join in the fun with some of the ticketed events to the Kennebunkport Festival, this younger event means that you can still enjoy a world class food and wine festival starting at just $15 per event.  No matter how many or few of the 2013 Kennebunkport Festival events you take part in, you’ll be sure to feel the exhilaration of this incredible food and wine festival!

Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend in Kennebunkport Maine!

May 22nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

It’s hard to believe that Memorial Day Weekend is finally here, and that means that summer has arrived in Kennebunkport Maine!  We have spent the past few weeks refurbishing the front porch, and now that the tables and chairs and lounging furniture is out, we’re ready to celebrate.  So this Memorial Day Weekend, you can enjoy our gourmet breakfast on the wraparound porch, relax with some fresh iced

Welcome to Kennebunkport!

Welcome to Kennebunkport!

tea, or simply sit back and watch the horse drawn carriages pass by.  And Kennebunkport Maine is certainly a great place to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation – I mean, what could be better than the soothing sound of the ocean?  But many also enjoy Memorial Day Weekend as a time to get out and about, take part in fun outdoor activities, and indulge in lots of yummy food.  Guess what?  Kennebunkport’s got everything you need!  It’s a great time to consider renting bikes or kayaks and to enjoy a different view of town or check out one of the countless nature preserves in the area.  And while most shops, galleries, and restaurants have been open for ages, the last few doors are finally wide open.  That means it’s prime retail therapy time!  But you do have to take a break from whatever your daily activities entail, and there’s no better way than with a frosty treat.  Fortunately for Kennebunkport Maine, there are more than a few ice cream/frozen yogurt shops within easy walking distance of the Maine Stay Inn.  Last spring a great new Artisan Ice Cream shop, Rococo, emerged with its gourmet twist on an old fashioned favorite, while just down the street, Yo Goody’s offers a stunning array of yogurt options.  But traditionalists, don’t despair – there are great options for your favorite flavors of that cool, creamy confection.  And with restaurants abounding you’ll find something for every appetite, but if you can’t enjoy a holiday weekend without firing up the grill, you’re welcome to bring your favorite ingredients and fire ‘em up in the back yard.  Now, no Memorial Day weekend would be complete without a parade, and we certainly won’t let you down – just make sure not to miss it on Monday!  Whatever you prefer to complete your Memorial Day Weekend, you’re sure to find it in Kennebunkport Maine!

Favorite Things About Kennebunkport Maine

May 11th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

So while last night’s surprise thunderstorms sidelined my plans for some outdoor fun, a day like today reminded me of some of my favorite things about Kennebunkport Maine.  Now, we all know that there are way too many amazing things about this seaside town, so I will do my darnedest to keep this list reasonable.  But since I am making this a short one, apologies if I left anyone else’s faves off!

  • The beach –  Whenever.  No seriously, in rain or shine, snow covered or so-hot-you-could-fry-an-egg, the Kennebunkport Maine beaches are incredible.  Mother nature does such a wonderful job at keeping the coastline exciting, and making sure that you can never get bored looking at it!  But fortunately for us, the variety of beaches and coastline in and around town has something for everyone – secluded stretches of
    How could you not love this coastline?!

    How could you not love this coastline?!

    sandy beach, classic rocky Maine coast, slips of waterfront meandering through our quaint village, and even beaches with wide paved paths for those who want to enjoy the ocean without dealing with the sand.  Plus, unlike many vacation destinations, you can head there on foot from the Maine Stay Inn or by car and not worry about parking – we’ve got plenty!

  • The food – Most of you know that enjoying great culinary creations is one of my favorite past times, and fortunately for me, Kennebunkport Maine has eateries that can compete with those from any big city.  So whether you’re craving a simple boiled lobster or a stunning five-star tasting menu, we’ve got you covered. Yum!
  • The shops – It makes sense that my two favorite kinds of shopping are for food and room decor, but that doesn’t do me much good come Christmas and birthday time.  Fortunately  Kennebunkport Maine makes it so easy for me!  The amazing mix of stores in Dock Square means that I can find almost anything for that perfect gift.  On the rare occasion when I can’t, I know that I’ve got two world-class Outlet centers barely a half hour away!
  • The outdoor fun – If there’s anything I love more than food, it’s playing outside.  So whether it’s enjoying cross country skiing and horse-drawn sleigh riding in the winter or hiking, biking and running in the summer, I am in.  Over the past few years, the amount of conservation land in and around Kennebunkport Maine has just exploded, which means that there are about a gagillion options for peaceful and pristine outdoor activities.

I could go on all night about why I love this town, but you’ll just have to come and explore Kennebunkport Maine for yourself!

Hiking “The Secret Garden” in Kennebunkport Maine

April 29th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

As you may know, getting outdoors (no matter the season!) is one of my absolute favorite past times, so when I learned about “The Secret Garden” just over the border from Kennebunkport Maine, I just had to find it.  But after a little bit of research about this hidden gem, I worried that it could potentially be a bit mucky.  And with springtime often associated with “mud season” from the melting snow and showers that bring May flowers the concern was

Hiking the Secret Garden!

Hiking the Secret Garden!

real, as this wooded trail features countless bubbling brooks and pretty streams.  Even the recent stretch of warmer weather and sunny days, some of the soil was a bit soggy, but considering the fact that the last piles of snow have just barely melted, it was to be expected.  I just should have planned my footwear better!  So this weekend, I snuck away from the Maine Stay Inn for a little while to take advantage of the incredible weather to finally go exploring.

Now, I probably run/drive/bike by the Port Road cemetery on a daily basis, but I had never considered that acres of conservation land might lay behind the rows of historic headstones.  And while traversing a cemetery might give some the heeby-geebies, on a such a gorgeous day, there was nothing creepy about it.  So I turned into the main gates and at the far side found a small parking area (it wasn’t large enough to call it a “lot’”).  Leading into the woods, I found a large sign telling me that I was on the right track.  The walk was nothing but spectacular, as the sunshine filtered through the budding trees.  The Kennebunk Land Trust lists the trail as being a 1.5 mile loop, but it felt like more – either because of the challenge of uneven terrain or because I was just enjoying the scenery or both!  To cross boggy areas or the multiple streams, the Trust has built sturdy elevated paths and small bridges to keep you dry.  And while this preserve doesn’t offer a storybook garden with a hidden door like I imagined, it really is a quiet escape.  Best of all, thanks to brand new sidewalks, “The Secret Garden” is an easy walk from Kennebunkport Maine!


Celebrating Earth Day In Kennebunkport Maine

April 22nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

It only seems appropriate to celebrate Earth Day by exploring the seemingly endless acres of conservation land in and around Kennebunkport Maine.  We are so fortunate that for the last several decades folks in the area have been working to preserve some stunning parcels of land for all of us to enjoy.  That means that in addition to miles of scenic coastline and sandy beaches, locals and visitors alike have many other peaceful locations to enjoy

A secluded stretch of coastline

A secluded stretch of coastline

the nature and wildlife of Southern Maine.  As many of you know, one of our most favorite destinations is Laudholm Farm at the Wells Reserve.  With about 1700 acres of federally protected land and 7 miles of trails, you have the unique opportunity to explore estuaries, wooded areas, fields, and even a stunning stretch of unspoiled beaches.  But for those looking to cover slightly less distance in their activities, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge is a great option.  Although this preserve covers a tremendous amount of land across many communities in the area, most of it is dedicated for use by the critters, but there is a scenic mile-long loop for us all to enjoy.

Luckily for us, there are even more places to explore the great outdoors, thanks to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and the Kennebunk Land Trust.  Both have protected a variety of parcels throughout the community, and while not all are accessible to the public, those that are offer tremendous recreation potential throughout the year.  For running, biking, hiking, and even cross country skiing in the winter you can choose what works for you and the Maine Stay Inn can help you pick the right place to go!  So whether you’re visiting Kennebunkport Maine on Earth Day or on any of the other 364 days of the year, we’ve got tons of places for you to explore and get your fill of the great outdoors!

Spring Vacation to a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

April 17th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

For many school districts throughout New England, this week marks April Vacation Week, which means that spring has really arrived at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.  Now that the vast majority of restaurant that close for portions of the winter have reopened and the shops are transitioning to their springtime window

The tulips are coming!

The tulips are coming!

displays, it really feels like winter is finally coming to an end.  For the first time last night, I heard the crickets on my way home from dinner, and a cacophony of bird calls can be heard each morning – and if I was at all experienced in birding, I would be able to tell you which critters have returned to Kennebunkport, but, alas, that is not one of my strengths.  Fortunately for those who are avid birders or those who are looking to expand their horizons, there are three great nature preserves just minutes from the Maine Stay Inn.  Both the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge and the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm sit just over the border in Wells, while the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust operates a variety of preserved parcels of land throughout town.  So whether you’re looking for birds that are partial to wooded areas or open ocean or anything in between, we’ve got you covered!  And with great walking trails, all three of these preserves are perfect for an active outdoor adventure or just a leisurely springtime stroll.

But while the leaves on the trees aren’t quite ready to pop, the tulips are beginning to poke their leaves through the soil and the paper whites are actually starting to bloom!  Now if only the grass in the backyard would turn green soon…  The teeny patch of snow that remains in a shaded corner of the yard tells of one of my favorite parts about spring – the fact that the days are warm and the nights are chilly.  So that means you and explore during the day without the layers we’ve become accustomed to wearing throughout the winter, but at night, a jacket is a welcome accessory.  Even better, though, is returning from dinner to a glowing fire or enjoying a relaxing soak in a whirlpool or soaker tub!  Plus, during the month of April you can stay for two nights and get a third for free, which means even more snuggling by the fire  Everyone at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is enjoying the start of spring and hope you are too!

Easter Sunday in Kennebunkport

March 29th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Hippity-hoppity-hippity-hoppity Easter’s on its way… to Kennebunkport! Easter Sunday really is right around the corner, and all corners of town are gearing up to celebrate.  Although Kennebunkport might be a quaint little town with just over 3,000 people, there are a surprising number of churches that are open for Easter services (and even more that open once the weather gets warmer).  Here are a selection of congregations – I hope I didn’t miss too many!

  • Literally steps from the Maine Stay Inn lies the Village Baptist Church, and while it’s known for its musicalchurch 1 performances, many people know it as the steeple-less church.  I was certainly curious about the sudden removal of the belfry (have you ever seen that before?  Because I sure haven’t!), and learned that in November 2008, it was determined that the bell tower had grown structurally unsound after a history of improper care.  The original bells were removed, and the church has been working on raising the funds to have a new tower built.  They’re getting close, and it will be a very exciting day when a new steeple goes up and the historic bells ring again!
  • If you continue along Maine Street and onto North Street, you’ll find the First Congregational Church just before you reach a picturesque horse farm (with a Christmas tree farm in its infancy).
  • Just behind the Dock Square parking lot, with lovely views of the inlet, South Congregational Church is home to a United Church of Christ congregation and is one of the most iconic structures in downtown Kennebunkport.
  • Just across the bridge, you can partake in services at the Sea Road Church, an Adventist Christian congregation.  It’s probably one of the few recently constructed churches in the area, but it’s strong, closely knit congregation would indicate otherwise.
  • Those looking for a Catholic mass have two great options in the area.  Some enjoy the unique atmosphere at St. Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery, occupying 70 acres along the river, and outdoor services when the weather permits, while others choose to pop over to St. Martha’s on Route 1 in Kennebunk.
  • You’ll also find the First Church in Kennebunk, a Unitarian Universalist congregation with a community, rather than biblical, focus.

But if you’re not religious or are simply traveling with youngsters, there are two fun Easter egg hunts happening this weekend, one on Saturday at the Messiah Christian Church in Wells, and one on Sunday at Loranger Middle School in Old Orchard Beach.  Whether your celebrating with us in Kennebunkport or  at home, we’re wishing everyone a happy and healthy Easter!

Kennebunkport Festival 2013 is Coming!

March 28th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Each year during the first week of June, an exciting food, wine, and art festival comes to town and this year is no exception, as we welcome the Kennebunkport Festival 2013!  So for six full days (or as few or many as you would like!) you can indulge in the finest dining prepared by chefs from the most renowned restaurants in the state.  But it

Sunset from the bridge during Kennebunkport Festival 2012

Sunset from the bridge during Kennebunkport Festival 2012

gets even better, because while you can choose from events at local fine dining restaurants or at incredible private residences throughout Kennebunkport that are open exclusively for these events.  More interested in the adult beverages?  There will be cocktail parties at different restaurants each night, a casual event featuring local beers, as well as the Grand Tasting, featuring products from Cellardoor Winery and Nappi Distributors.

There is one thing, though, that sets this event apart from other food and wine festivals, and that is the incorporation of the arts into this celebration that embodies some of the best parts about Kennebunkport.  So while this quaint village offers a plethora of stunning galleries for your year round viewing pleasure, during this week, some of the most talented artists gather their works for viewing all together with phenomenal edible works of art at your fingertips to enhance your viewing pleasure.  Worried about splurging on one of the Art of Dining experience during your first Kennebunkport Festival experience?  Don’t worry!  Because there is plenty to enjoy without committing to an elegant dinner.  Consider the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport‘s Second Annual Garden Parties, any of the luxe cocktail hours, or even Brews and Tunes, a beer tasting with live music from local artists.  But if you still aren’t ready to commit to tickets, you can still enjoy the wonderful weather that graces Kennebunkport during early June, the amazing restaurants, stunning galleries, and other events held throughout town that aren’t part of the official Kennebunkport Festival 2013.  We’re really looking forward to this celebration and hope you are too!

Vagina Monologues Comes to Kennebunk

March 22nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

This weekend brings one of the most exciting events of the winter to the Kennebunk/Kennebunkport area – the Vagina Monologues!  And before you correct me, I do know that it is officially spring, but since the crocus buds now have a little covering of snow on them (again? Really, Mother Nature?) and more importantly since this event

A scene from last year's production of The Vagina Monologues

A scene from last year’s production of The Vagina Monologues

usually occurs in February, which is solidly winter, I’m going with it.  But I digress.  For the past several years, members from York County’s Domestic Violence Program, Caring Unlimited, have organized an incredible production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.  Each year it has brought bold acting and belly laughs, but more importantly it has brought us one step closer toward ending violence against women and girls.

For those of you who don’t know, The Vagina Monologues is a collection of stories about the female experience, ranging from childbirth and love to violence and mutilation and everything in between.  Although Eve Ensler originally interviewed over 200 women, each production varies with the number of stories told and actors involved.  This year’s production, held in the historical auditorium of Kennebunk’s town hall, will feature a cast of 19 talented women and girls from around the county.  Plus, with doors opening at 6:45 and the performances starting at 7:30, you’ve got the perfect amount of time to grab a great dinner (Academe or 50Local are perfectly located for noshing before the show) before wandering over.  But if all the tears and laughter during the show made you work up an appetite, you can always try Federal Jack’s for a bite (almost) no matter how late the production finishes!  This year, tickets will be available at the door, but if you want to ensure that you will snag a seat, you can order tickets online here.  And whether you’ve seen the show a million times before or you’re a “Vagina” virgin, you’ll be sure to enjoy a great theatrical production that benefits a great cause both locally and across the globe.

The 2013 Ogunquit Playhouse Schedule is Here!

March 11th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Every winter we wait patiently for an exciting announcement and it’s finally here – the 2013 Ogunquit Playhouse

A great lineup is set for the 2013 season at the Ogunquit Playhouse!

A great lineup is set for the 2013 season at the Ogunquit Playhouse!

Schedule is now up!  For those of you who don’t know, the Ogunquit Playhouse is one of the hidden gems of Southern Maine. 2013 marks its 81st season, and featuring seven outstanding musical theater performances from May to October, it is one of the “must see” activities to add to your list when visiting Kennebunkport Maine.  And fortunately for us, it’s less than fifteen miles down the road!

In 1933, Walter Hartwig, a big name on Broadway, along with his wife, Maude, opened the playhouse in a converted garage in Ogunquit, but due to its incredible success, needed a bigger and better venue.  So four years later it moved just down the road to its current home, which maintains much of the character and intimacy even today.  In 195o the theater welcomed general manager John Lane, who nurtured it for the next 47 years, bringing the best and brightest of Broadway for summer stock theater here in Maine.  And the performances offered here never disappoint, bringing incredible talents to the stage in a charming, intimate setting.  And for about a quarter of the price of a Big Apple show, you’ll enjoy the very best right in front of your eyes (no nosebleed sections here!).

All of us at the Maine Stay Inn have waited with bated breath for the 2013 Ogunquit Playhouse lineup to be announced, and here it is!

  • The Rat Pack Is Back (May 22-June 8)
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie (June 12-July 6) – featuring Sally Struthers as Mrs. Meers
  • Young Frankenstein (July 10-27)
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (July 31-August 25)
  • Ballroom with a Twist (August 27-31)
  • West Side Story (September 4-28)
  • Buddy, the Buddy Holly Story (October 2-20)

We’re so excited for the Ogunquit Playhouse to open its doors and bring the stage alive for its 81st consecutive year and hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!